Why buildings insurance claims fail

Insurance claim rejected

Buying a property might be one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life time and it’s probably something you’ll be paying off for quite some time. This gives you all the more reason to insure it, and to ensure that if something goes wrong that your insurance pays out.

Unfortunately, there are pitfalls that many are unaware of until it’s too late. These pitfalls are mistakes that could end up voiding your buildings insurance and costing you a pretty penny.

The most common reasons that buildings insurance claims fail are:

  • Poor design and faulty workmanship.

When it comes to renovating or building on to your property, cutting costs shouldn’t be your top priority. Be sure that you make use of skilled labour and follow all the necessary procedures. Yes, it might draw out the whole shebang a bit, but if you don’t do it right and something goes wrong, your insurance will most likely cite negligence on your part, and deny your claim.

  • Retaining walls not built to standards.

Not many people are aware that retaining walls have to be built according to engineering specifications. So if your retaining wall has been built by a landscaper – and not an engineer – and it collapses, your insurer might not pay out.

Before you purchase any property, be sure of what type of ground it’s built on. This might lead to some clauses or types of cover being voided. For instance, if your house is built on clay, subsidence is usually excluded from your cover.

  • Unoccupied premises.

If your property is unoccupied for long periods of time without you letting your insurer know about your empty nest, they could have grounds to reject a claim.

  • Lack of maintenance.

If any damage to the property is caused by an issue that could’ve been avoided if the property was properly maintained, chances are that your insurance claim will fail.

There are 3 simple steps that will help to ensure that your insurer pays out.

Firstly, take the time to read through your policy document properly.

Secondly, ensure that you understand everything in your policy. If you don’t understand something ask a consultant, until you feel confident you know what it means.

Finally, inform your insurer of any changes, of any sort. It might seem trivial or insignificant to you, but small changes in your life could make a big difference from your insurer’s perspective. And at the end of the day, they’re the ones who have to pay out your claim.